Ethnic Eating 101: Korean, Part 3
|alanchan @ flickr.com CC BY-NC-SA 2.0|
|Mmmm, Korean liquor...|
Soju and anju
|roboppy @ flickr.com CC BY-NC-ND 2.0|
Soju is Korean vodka, a clear spirit distilled from rice, potatoes or yams. It's not nearly as strong as vodka (usually 40-50 proof, whereas vodka is normally 80 proof). When drunk by itself it has, shall we say, an unpleasant aftertaste, but adding the smallest amount of any flavor will kill the aftertaste. Some Korean bars will give you whole lemons with bottles of soju. Use the bottle cap to break into the lemon, then squeeze the juice into the shotglasses. A couple of drops per glass will suffice to take the harsh edge off.
I am, I am somewhat consternated to say, an expert on soju. I had my bachelor party at a bar in Koreatown and drank so much that my wife worried that I'd miss the wedding due to alcohol poisoning. Ah, youth... I can barely get through 20 shots of soju without being besottedly drunk these days.